What Is CYF?
CYF is short for Children, Youth and Families. It’s an agency within each PA county established to protect children and promote the family unit. The agency is focused on the idea that each child deserves to be happy, healthy and free from parental neglect and abuse.
In some counties, CYF is referred to as Children and Youth Services (CYS) or another, similar acronym. In York County, it’s known as CYF, and it provides a slew of services, including:
- Reunification services
- Family preservation goals
- Family and individual therapy and services
The goal of all services? To keep children safe, identifying those at risk and investigating their situations. When CYF finds a child is being abused or mistreated, it will act to change the situation, within the parameters of the law.
What Is the Child Protective Services Law? (CPSL)
An attorney for child services can tell you that the Child Protective Services Law deals with child abuse. It outlines what exactly falls under the designation of child abuse as well as identifies designated reporters. It also grades the levels of offenses for child luring and other endangerment.
In short, it lays out the consequences for endangering children and focuses on providing ways to protect children. The intent of the law is to encourage and protect the family whenever possible.
What Happens to a Child When CYF Gets Involved?
CYF, with the assistance of an assigned caseworker, will institute an investigation to determine if a child has been abused, neglected or otherwise at risk. The caseworker will conduct interviews with everyone involved, including the child and their parents, to determine the path the case will take.
CYF must begin an investigation within 24 hours of receiving a report, and it must talk to the child within that period and determine whether they are in any immediate danger. The agency has one month to complete its investigation, though sometimes paperwork can be filed to extend that period to 60 days.
If CYF determines a child is at risk, the agency can ask for an emergency court order to remove the child from the home immediately. However, in most cases CYF guidelines dictate the family should stay together in the same place, and measures should be taken to improve the home situation with CYF oversight. Unless a judge says otherwise, children who have been removed from their homes are still able to spend supervised time with their parents. Efforts are made to keep children under agency care at their current school district and within their current activities to provide as much continuity as possible.
How Can MPL Law Firm Help?
Our attorneys have dealt with variety of CYF cases and issues. We understand how the agency works, its approach to the law and how to operate within the system to ensure your rights are protected while the best interests of the children are also served.
It can be scary and confusing to deal with red tape bureaucracy of CYF. As your attorney, we will help you navigate through this difficult and trying time by addressing your concerns, advising you regarding your individual and family plans with also maintaining your legal rights with regard to your children. We also assist grandparents, or other third parties, who want to care for children during or after a CYF investigation.
When you come to our offices, we will spend time with you listening to your concerns and learning about your case so we can do everything we can to get the outcome the children deserve. We can also walk you through any future legal challenges you may encounter as a result of the CYF involvement. Contact us today to set up a consultation and discuss how we can help you.